INDIANAPOLIS — He spent his summers down the shore in North Wildwood and his falls on the gridiron. Could the next step be playing tackle for his hometown Eagles?
The he in question is 6-foot-8, 315-pound Notre Dame offensive lineman Mike McGlinchey. The Warrington native and Penn Charter grad is projected as a first-rounder in the 2018 NFL draft. He acknowledged Thursday at the combine that he formally spoke to the Eagles on Tuesday and went through some schematic paces with Birds offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland.
"As strong as my ties are to the city of Philadelphia, that would be a dream come true," McGlinchey said Thursday. "Obviously Super Bowl champs, passionate city, everybody I love is back in the city of Philadelphia. Any team that would pick me would be great but it would be pretty special to go home."
Athleticism runs in his family. Falcons QB Matt Ryan is his first cousin and has been a major influence on McGlinchey's life since he was young.
"Matt has guided me every step of the way, whether he knew it or not," McGlinchey said. "Just watching the way Matt goes about his business, the way that he works, the way that people respect him is something I've always worked for. He's been my football hero ever since I was a little kid. And when he got drafted in the pros, I was an eighth grader and we went up for a trip and it was at that moment that I said I want to do that, too."
Having grown up in the area, McGlinchey has firsthand knowledge of the City of Brotherly Love.
"Philadelphia is a blue-collar town, and it's a place where passion is something they take a lot of pride in, whether it's for their sports teams or their families. It's a different place," he said. "There's not a lot of places like Philadelphia where you can get people that are as close and as passionate and are willing to say whatever the hell they want right to your face and it's one of those things that taught me who I was.
"It's where my roots are, it's ingrained in my family, the way we are raised. The competitiveness and the passion I have for this sport and the loyalty that the Eagles fans have for their team and obviously the rest of the sports teams in Philadelphia, makes you have that loyalty, too."
He wasn't rooting for the Eagles in the NFC divisional round because of his loyalty to his cousin, but McGlinchey jumped back on the bandwagon once the Birds advanced and he was thrilled to see his city finally win it all.
Some of his buddies even kept him abreast of the post-Super Bowl celebrations.
"I was getting Snapchats and Instagram messages and all that stuff from people starting to drink at 3 a.m. on Broad Street," he said. "So it looked like it was a good time."
If only he knew.